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TNN Gets Rights to Spike Name

The legal battles are over with Viacom gaining the right to call its TNN Network Spike TV. Movie director Spike Lee settled his legal debate July 7, 2003 with Viacom Inc. State Supreme Court judge Walt Tolub lifting his injunction barring Viacom from using the moniker Spike TV. Details of the settlement were not disclosed. Viacom claims the delay has cost media conglom $30 million in marketing expenses.

Lee filed the suit June 2, alleging that Viacom was exploiting his name to draw viewers to this male-oriented cable network. The entertainment giant argued that Spike was a common name and that no connection had been made to the director. Viacom was prevented from renaming the channel just four days before its scheduled relaunch. The animated adult programming block, The Strip, debuted on June 26, under the TNN name, without the added promotion of the new channel name, Spike TV.